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Longfellow’s Christmas Bells

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017

The sorrow behind the joyful words. As a writer, I’m always fascinated to learn the history behind the stories and how the events at the time might influence the  words that flow onto a blank page. Good or bad, joyous or devastating–strong emotions can evolve into powerful prose. A good example is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of my all time favorites. Longfellow’s Sorrow In the case of Christmas Bells, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the words to his poem on December 25, 1864.  The music and message is up-lifting. The words actually came from a very distraught Longfellow during one of the lowest times in his life. Tragedy Strikes Three years earlier, his beloved wife Fanny had tried to preserve her daughter’s hair clippings in wax.  In a tragic turn of events, hot candle wax dripped onto Fanny’s dress, igniting it in flames. She ran into her husband’s study, where Henry tried to extinguish the blaze with a rug. He experienced severe burns to his face, arms, and hands. How they both must have suffered through that long night, only to have Fanny die the next morning. Henry was much too ill  to even attend her funeral. “A merry Christmas’ say the children, but that is no more for me.” reads Longfellows’ journal entry...

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National Day of the Horse

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017

Please welcome guest blogger, Kirsti Kasch! National Day of the Horse by Kirsti Kasch She was nothing special when I found her, just a scrawny yellow mare. No papers, no record breaking genetics, “just a grade mare” who wasn’t very well taken care of. I begged and pleaded to call her mine when graduation rolled around. Finally dad broke down and gave her a chance at greatness. He invested in her, but most importantly he invested in us. Fancy and I became a team. She was a hot mess. But so was I. Shortly after buying Fancy, who was to be my first “practice horse” that I was hardly getting along with, my childhood rope horse came up lame. Not the lame that you give them some “bute” and turn them out for a few days. The kind of lame that makes you cry all the way to Hansford County Vet. I dried my tears when I stepped out of the truck, only because cowgirls don’t cry in front of people. Pepsi couldn’t back up. As much as his heart wanted to please me, his body couldn’t make it happen. He had no idea how to make his hind end work. The staff at the vet ran test after test resulting in a negative....

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2017

My mother-in-law cooked simple, comfort food with home-grown vegetables and sweet iced tea. More often then not, every meal included the creamiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever tasted. She fixed stick-to-your-ribs kind of meals so the men and boys could get back to the farm and cattle work. One of the dishes she excelled at, and my husband’s all time favorite, was her apple pie. Made from scratch crust and juicy apple slices drenched in cinnamon and sugar, this pie...

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Posted by on Sep 28, 2017

A year’s worth of work on a Texas cattle ranch leads up to one day: shipping day. The signs of Fall in the Texas Panhandle signals the time to gather the herd, wean the calves, and ship the to market. Last year our calf crop sold through Superior Livestock Auction and brought the highest price in the nation on the day of sale. A valuable herd is made possible through the year-long efforts of our Ranch Foreman, reliable day...

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